Our story begins back in 1973, when we purchased property in this beautiful part of Central Florida. With it’s majestic old oaks hanging with Spanish Moss, it truly seemed like a vision from the Old South. The remoteness, allowed our children to grow up identifying the local flora and fauna, with help from a wonderful 4-H program in Marion County. With relatively few neighbors and distractions they developed the ability to experience nature and build confidence and skills for an independent future.
Initially, the children handled the housekeeping chores while Mom & Dad worked on building our farm house. Next of course, we started gardening and raising animals. First came rabbits, then a dairy calf, and before we knew it, we were milking five 4-H animals. Only those with a poor grip on reality would assume that building a dairy would be a next logical step, but lo and behold, that was what came next, after about 7 years getting established in this spot.
After building the dairy, from milking 40 animals to eventually over 800, we decided that there must be a better way to utilize the land and reduce the incredible 24/7 workload. I am sure you all are aware… dairy cows take no holidays.
That was when our son Torm, who had been managing the farm since 1997, said “let’s get back to basics!’ He realized that our climate and land allowed us to grow grass almost the full year. Why not raise cattle solely on grass and let them thrive as they were meant to be. It was fortunate that we were able to work with our Alma Mater, Washington State University and a top Wagyu breeder from the Northwest, Gerry Pittenger. These contacts enabled us to put together an outstanding beginning herd of 55 animals, who were glad to come to Florida during a very cold February in 2008.
With a tremendous amount of work on the part of the whole family, plus our adopted family of Gerardo and Noemi, we have grown to almost 300 cattle, a wonderful piece of woods dedicated to our thriving pig herd and several different breeds of free range poultry.
Along the way, we have developed an exceptional group of LOYAL customers who make us feel that our daily efforts are extremely rewarding.
The Farmer & The Chef…the other member of the family! Showing off our pork @ James Beard Dinner in NYC.